21 Sep 2013

Assets seized from travelling monk

6:34 am on 21 September 2013

Thailand has seized assets worth 24 million baht from a monk who was disrobed for taking a trip in a private jet.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office said Wiraphon Sukphon was suspected of deceiving people to give him donations.

"Monks can receive donations and must use them for the benefit of the public, not for private use and their own personal comforts," AMLO secretary Colonel Seehanat Prayoonrat told AFP on Friday.

Wiraphon went by the name Luang Pu Nen Kham to bolster his claims to be the reincarnation of a famous monk who performed miracles. He is believed to be abroad.

The seized assets were worth a total of 24 million baht ($A820,152), according to the AMLO. They include 12.8 million baht of real estate as well as three cars, a Harley-Davidson motorbike, a Vespa scooter and more than 200,000 baht in 14 bank accounts.

Wiraphon caused a scandal earlier this year in Thailand after footage emerged of him with two other monks travelling in a private jet, wearing sunglasses and carrying a Louis Vuitton luxury bag.

He has since been investigated on suspicion of tax evasion, drug possession and money-laundering.